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Greeneville Iris Festival to be May 17-18

The Greene County Partnership’s Annual Iris Festival will return to the streets of downtown Greeneville Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18, featuring two entertainment stages, a food court, the Kids’ Korner, a beauty pageant, the Evergreen Woodcarvers, and artists, craftsmen, food vendors and merchants from numerous states selling their wares.
Festival hours will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
The Kids’ Korner will return to the festival this year with Beamin’ Inflatables. A variety of inflatables will be placed in the children’s area for their entertainment and enjoyment.
Arts and crafts booths with be positioned along College, Depot and Academy streets with a variety of items for purchase, ranging from several types of jewelry, barn wood and wood crafts, Iris rhizomes and historical prints to metal-work items, wind chimes, hand-made clothing, spices, herbs, teas, hot sauces, jellies, soups and dips.
In the Merchants’ Market, there will be a variety of items, including Longaberger purses, cosmetics, t-shirts, jewelry, Origami owl items, fragrances and collectable dolls.
Food vendors will fill the festival food court with delectable odors to tempt each and every visitor. One of the first-time food vendors will be serving smoked turkey legs while another will be offering up glazed pecans, almonds, cashews and other nuts. Visitors may also choose from delicacies ranging from funnel cake and a variety of fried items such as tomatoes, pickles, mushrooms and zucchini to gyros, bloomin’ onions, barbecue, Philly sandwiches and other traditional fare.
Two stages will feature singing and dancing entertainment non-stop during the festival. The singing stage will provide a variety of music, including country, bluegrass and gospel, while the dance stage will feature all kinds of dance styles, from clogging to line dancing. Sponsors for entertainment include First Tennessee Bank, CenturyLink, Consumer Credit Union, DTR Tennessee, the Greeneville Astros, J.A. Street & Associates and McInturff, Milligan & Brooks Insurance.
The Miss Iris Festival Pageant will be held at the Greeneville High School Lecture Hall Saturday beginning at noon, featuring eight different age categories ranging from 0-11 months to 16 years old and older. Entry forms for the contest are available at the Partnership offices. Admission to the pageant will be $5 per person.
The Evergreene Woodcarvers Competition and Show will be held in the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
A special shuttle service will be provided both days of the festival by Greene Coach Company. Visitors may park at Greeneville High School, First Baptist Church or Towne Square Shopping Center and the tour bus will make rounds at 15-minute intervals during the festival hours.
To apply for a booth space or obtain more information on the various aspects of the festival, call the Partnership at 423-638-4111 or email gcp@greenecop.com.